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Bauer Still Likes Beretta; Tsai Impressed at Ume

[Photo: Beretta/Facebook]

Bauer revisited six-year-old Beretta in this week's review, and "they're still doing something right" at the Mission spot that's "as popular as ever." The cocktails in particular struck Bauer's fancy, like the favorite Rattlesnake, which "holds up as well in real time as it does in memories." The food is "also very good, though not as finely tuned" as before: a pizza "seemed as if it had been rushed out of the oven 30 seconds too soon," but risotto "tasted as if it had been stirred to order" and "well-crafted" salads like the panzanella were "simple but satisfying." Desserts "tasted like someone was dialing it in," and "service can also be scattered," but that might be due to servers hustling between the kitchen, dining room and bar, where cocktails "continue to star." 2.5 stars. [Chron]

Roth took this week off from the restaurant circuit to take a look at AgLocal, the online food delivery website that focuses on sustainably grown meat. Though on the surface "nothing new," the ideas "could present an intriguing model ... for big food-delivery companies like Walmart and Amazon to offer high-quality meat at scale without having to build the infrastructure themselves." Though there are lots of obstacles to overcome, Roth has hopes that technology such as this could play a role in "resurrecting an older order of food production that could even — dare we say it — make the world a better place." [SF Weekly]

Meanwhile, Wendy Hector sampled the fare at the Mission's Elsy's, where "the pupusas are the shining stars." With dough that's "smooth and not a touch mealy" on the inside and "blistered and golden-brown" inside, both the meaty revuelta and lighter loroco y queso should be savored. Though the rest of the menu is nothing special (save the "standout" platanos y crema) and Hector's palate demand added Tapatio "to reach a familiar level of peppery punch," it's the "sweet, buttery smell of frying masa dough" and its finished product that keeps 'em coming. [Examiner]

Luke Tsai checked out the restaurant formerly known as Plum to sample its new incarnation, Ume, Daniel Patterson's latest reboot. The Japanese-inspired angle makes sense given Patterson's passion for "simplicity, emphasis on great ingredients, and precise cooking techniques," though " Ume makes no pretense of serving traditional Japanese food." Here, "the best dishes" Tsai tried "had a beguiling, if not quite monastic, simplicity:" "impeccably tender" yakitori-style chicken thigh, "tender and smokey" grilled squid, and fried chicken ramen all impressed (the only nit-pick was the "unwieldy, stubby little soup spoons" that came with the dish). The restaurant "still feels a bit fussier than it needs to be," though, and "the dining room was still half-empty" during Tsai's visits. "That really shouldn't be the case — not with food that's this good and service this friendly and enthusiastic." [EBX]


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